The 37-year-old thought she was “shaped differently” until her diagnosis of the condition in April 2022.
Lipoedema is an abnormal build-up of fat in the legs and sometimes arms. The condition caused Christine daily pain since she was 11 years old.
While Christine led an active lifestyle, she struggled to lose weight from anywhere but her torso.
She found herself tipping the scales at 25st 7lbs (360lbs), wearing a size 18 on top and size 20 trousers.
After giving birth to her son, Andy, now five, her symptoms worsened, and she struggled to let him climb onto her lap as a baby as it would leave her in agony.
Christine, who works in fraud investigation in health care, from Hershey, Pennsylvania, US, said: “When my son was little, he’d want to fall on to my lap.
“It would be excruciatingly painful and then I’d feel like a terrible mum.
“After having my son, even just a gentle touch on my leg was painful. It’s very hard in the winter months.”
Christine’s husband, Stephen, 34, a supervisor of a health plan call centre, even has to lay on top of her in the winter to warm up the affected areas of her limbs.
Christine started developing symptoms at just 11 years old despite taking up dance and sport.
She would take constant trips to the doctors – who would immediately think she had diabetes and were shocked when they found her glucose levels were fine.
In her late 20s, Christine started accepting her plus-size body after finding other people online who looked like her.
She said: “I thought – I should just accept it for what it is.”
Christine’s symptoms worsened after welcoming her son in 2017.
She struggled to let baby Andy crawl onto her lap without being in pain – leaving her feel like a “terrible” mum.
Christine came across the condition lipoedema in 2021 after hearing other people speak about it on social media.
A lot of what others said resonated with her and she went to a doctor and raised the condition.
After going to several doctors, Christine was diagnosed with lipoedema in April 2022.
She said: “After diagnosis it was weird to like a part of you that is technically diseased.
“I went from loving everything to questioning it. I feel like my body doesn’t work the way it is supposed to.”
Christine built back her confidence in herself but has decided to get surgery to remove the diseased tissue to help her pain.
She is currently fundraising for the $10k (around £8,084) removal surgery – which she is having to ease her pain rather than to change her appearance.
Christine said: “If I looked the same but didn’t have the pain, I’d be happy. I really enjoy talking about it. So many people have it and have no idea.”
Here is a link to her fundraising page – https://www.gofundme.com/f/83tk4d-lipedema-surgery?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer
Lipoedema is more common in women and usually affects both sides of the body equally.
The NHS advises: “You may also have pain, tenderness or heaviness in the affected limbs, and you may bruise easily.
“Lipoedema can also cause knock knees, flat feet and joint problems, which can make walking difficult.”
If you have symptoms of lipoedema see your GP. If your leg or legs become swollen, red, hot and painful and you have flu-like symptoms ask for an urgent GP appointment or call 111.
Post source: Daily Express